Available reels: 30
|Creator||Canada. Dept. of Railways and Canals. Office of the Chief Engineer.|
|Title||Department of Railways and Canals, Canal Branch: Office of the Chief Engineer of Canals|
RG 43 B IV
|Document source||Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada|
The Department of Railways and Canals is a former department of the Government of Canada. It had responsibility for the construction, operation, and maintenance of federal government-owned railways, as well as the operational responsibility for canals in Canada. The department was created in 1879 by transferring several existing government operations, namely the Railway Branch of the Department of Public Works, and the operational responsibilities for canals which were administered by the government's Office of the Chief Engineer. These components were reorganized into the Railway Branch and the Canal Branch, respectively. The Railway Branch was responsible for administering to the federally owned railways, namely the Intercolonial Railway of Canada and the Prince Edward Island Railway (at the time of the department's creation). The branch also provided a program of financial assistance to encourage new railway construction in the country. The Canal Branch administered Canada's canal system and undertook new construction as required. One of the most powerful departments in early Canadian governments, it was amalgamated with the Department of Marine and the Civil Aviation Branch of the Department of National Defence in 1936 to form the Department of Transport.
The Chief Engineer of Canals was primarily concerned with the repair, maintenance and construction of canals under the supervision of the federal government. Until December 1892, the Department of Railways and Canals had two chief engineers, one in the Railway Branch and another in the Canal Branch. These positions were merged and remained combined with the appointment of Collingwood Schreiber in December 1892.
This collection consists of records acquired and accumulated by the Office of the Chief Engineer of Canals. While this collection may have been voluminous at one point, only a portion of the indexes and registers have survived. However, it may yield useful information for those researching about Chief Engineers for the period from 1873 to 1896.
Three appears to be no finding aids at the start of the microfilm reels.